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BURNHAM v. SUPERIOR COURT

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					                                  BURNHAM v. SUPERIOR COURT

Case Reminder           Women files for divorce in CA and gets her husband while hes in the sate

Citation                Burnham v. Superior Court. 495 U.S. 604 (1990)

Statement of the case

Procedure               Review of order denying motion to quash service of summons

Statement of fact       This is a civil action taking place in Federal Court. Plaintiff Fancie Burnham
                        Brought an action against Dennis Burnham for divorce in the state of California.
                        Defendant and plaintiff were married in west Virginia in 1976. In 1977 they
                        moved to New Jersey where their two children were born. In 1987 the Burnhams
                        decided to separate. Mrs. Burnham took custody of the children and moved to
                        CA. The plaintiff and defendant agred that they would file divorce on the ground
                        of irreconcilable differences. Defendant filed a divorce on claims of “desertion.”
                        In response plaintiff filed her own divorce in CA claiming irreconcilable
                        differences. While defendant was in the state on business he also visited his
                        children. At that point he was served personal process. The defendant appeals the
                        state of Califonias jurisdiction.

Issue                   Whether or not due process requires a similar connection between the litigation
                        and the defendant’s contacts with the state in cases where the defendant is
                        physically present in the State at the time process is served upon him.

                        Whether tag service is going to work

Decision                No

Rule                    Jurisdiction based on physical presence alone constitutes due process because it
                        is one of the continuing traditions of our legal system that define the due process
                        standard of “traditional notions of fail play and substantial justice.” It also does
                        not matter that the suit was unrealated to his activities within the state


Reasoning               No. the fourteenth amendment does not deny a state jurisdiction over a person
                        personally served with process while temporarily in a state, In a suit unrelated to
                        his activities In the sate. It is firmly established principle of personal jurisdiction
                        that courts of a state have jurisdiction over persons physically present in a state.

                        Justice scalia points out that the analysis done by justice Brennan in the
                        concurrence is wrong. Brennan wants to evaluate the defendants basis in the sate
                        according to the minimum contacts test. In that the defendant used state service
                        while he was in the state for three days. Scalia points out that this would be at
                        odds with people who are in the state for as little as 15 minutes.

Concurrence:            Brenan thinks that a historical approach to the matter is ill founded since the
                        court repeatedly strikes down older approaches. Brenean thinks that is rather
                        does not offend notions of fair play and justice to subject a physically present non
                        resident to jurisdiction
Concurrence   Stevens thinks the case is self evident and did not need so much analysis
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